Twitter has announced “Project Retweet,” a push by the popular microblogging service to officially support retweeting, the process of forwarding someone else’s messages on within Twitter.
Biz Stone on the Twitter blog writes that “Retweeting is a great example of Twitter teaching us what it wants to be. The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact and the more efficient dissemination of information across the entire Twitter ecosystem…that’s why we’re planning to formalize retweeting by officially adding it to our platform.”
The changes will include retweets being supported through the Twitter API, retweet functionality on the Twitter website, and a little graphic showing that a tweet is a retweet on Twitter itself (but possibly not the auto insertion of “RT” indicating that it is.)
The surprising thing for many Twitter users will be discovering for the first time that Twitter doesn’t officially support retweeting already. The feature is standard in nearly every Twitter desktop and mobile client currently available, and it widely used by most Twitter users. Twitter coming to the party and supporting it officially will only really mean something to those who use the Twitter.com site directly, although if they don’t include the text “RT” on retweets, we could see issues arise with being able to easily identify a retweet within third part services.